Friday, May 4, 2012

Where Do You Get the TIME?

Where does the time go?  To silly things, for most folks.

Some folks ask how I get the time to write this blog.   They even suggest and hint that perhaps I don't actually write it.  Because who would have the time to write such long-winded pieces, nearly every day?

But I do write it, and being able to type 100+ wpm is one way I can put down thoughts as fast as I can think them.   If you do nothing else in high school, take a typing class.   Seriously.

But where do I get the time?   It is an understandable question, considering how most Americans squander their time.  Yes, squander.   You see this all the time, people who say, "Gee, I am just so busy, busy, busy!" and yet, most of their time is spend chasing their tail.

Consider how most Americans spend their time:
  • 4.6 Hours a day the average American watches television
  • 2 hours a day the average American spends commuting 
  • 1 hour a day texting or dicking around with a smart phone 
  • 1 hour a day spent in meetings 
  • Several hours a week spent in retail stores, shopping (and driving to and from) 
  • Several hours a week in restaurants, eating meals (and driving to and from)

 Now, you may argue that some of these things are unavoidable for a person in your position in life.   And this may be true, but others - particularly the HUGE time-wasters, like television, are entirely voluntary.

Maybe you can't escape the daily commute, but you don't have to squander every evening in front of the TeeVee.  It is a choice.   And spending every waking moment texting your friends is not really a productive use of time, is it?

And the odd thing is, many of these time bandits - most of them in fact - cost you money.  People pay for the privilege of frittering their lives away.  Cable bills, texting plans - paying to kill time!

And increasingly, this is taught in the cradle.  A recent report on a lawsuit filed against Apple by angry parents who gave their toddlers brand-new $499 iPhones, and then got upset when the kids clicked on "buy it now" on some "free" video games that require "coins" or "smurfberries" to play.

The don't seem to get the point that the $59 the kid spent on smurfberries pales in comparison to the $1200-a-year cost of the phone.   Moreover, they don't seem to blink an eye at the concept of "plugging in" very young children this way - parking them in front of the TeeVee, the computer, the cell phone - and all in passive activities that involve consuming, not creating.

By age 18, the young "consumer" (no longer a "human being") has been trained to fritter away most of his working hours, and to think that being plugged-in to electronic devices, 24/7 is the way to live.   And of course, they have learned to accept debt - massive, life-long, debilitating debts - as a way of life.

Wow, I could not invent a better way to enslave the middle class if I had to.   And the best part of all, is that they think this is "living" and a good thing.   The only downside, of course, is that they whine all day long about "living paycheck to paycheck" and about the "disappearing middle class" which they can tweet to each other on their smart phones from the OWS rally.

Reclaiming your life is not hard to do - it starts by reclaiming your TIME from the electronic media.  Turn off the TeeVee.   Turn off the smart phone.   Stop watching celebrity news and reality television shows.   Stop spending hours in traffic listening to the radio.   Those are all passive activities that do not add to your personal bottom line and in fact, detract from your overall health, both mentally and physically.

I have all the time in the world, and the days seem to last forever.   But that is because I am not up with the alarm clock at 6:00, trying to pick out a tie at 6:30, skipping breakfast and fighting rush-hour traffic at 7:00 and again at 5:00 and then flopping down in front of the TeeVee for four to five hours a night, wolfing down a take-out pizza, because I am "too tired to cook."

And yea, I did that once, when I was a drone.  And I hated it and realized it was no way to live.  In fact, it was not living at all.

So, that's where I get the time to write now.  Because I enjoy writing - far better than commuting or watching television.